CineAction! #75 (2008)
Film magazines have existed from the very early stages of cinema itself. Wherever cinema has announced its presence, magazines, in one form or another, have followed.
Film magazines can lie at the two extremes of academic and journals at one end of the spectrum to popular, fan-oriented magazines and tabloids at the other. A current search of the subject Motion Pictures—Periodicals in the San Francisco Public Library’s catalog currently results in 144 entries. A glance through the results shows the range of what may constitute a film magazine. Some have lived a short life, while others have showed resilience. Some died young but left an everlasting impression. We also subscribe to many in only an electronic form.
Anthony Slide, in International Film, Radio, and Television Journals, has written that “There are basically six categories into which film magazines may fall: fan magazines, in-house journals, national film periodicals, technical journals, trade papers, and popular/academic journals.” The first in-house journal was published 1909. Fan magazines appeared two years later with the publication of The Motion Picture Story Magazine. Serious film criticism began with the publication of Close Up in 1927. With the emergence and staying power of Sight and Sound in 1932 cinema began to be studied as an accepted art form, not only as an entertainment. The 1970s additionally brought a few well-respect academic journals such as Wide Angle and Quarterly Review of Film Studies.
Film Criticism vol. 32/1 (Fall 2007)
Early popular trade magazines paid little attention to cinema. The first weekly solely devoted to films, The Film Index, was established in 1906. New York Variety, though it started as a weekly magazine for vaudeville entertainment, published the first film review in 1907. The 1930s are considered the golden age of the popular trade magazines. Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter began publishing in Los Angeles in the 1930s.
Arguably the most influential film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, was founded in 1951 by André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. The pioneers of the French New Wave such as Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut wrote for it.
Classic Images #405 (March 2009)
You can explore our magazine collection online through our catalog and through databases like JStor and Art Full-Text. See also earlier entries on our blog for A Film Research Guide and Printed Indexes for Film Reviews.
Asian Cinema vol. 19/2 (Fall/Winter 2008)
Please come view the display: The World of Motion Picture Magazines: From Silent to Noir to Italian Neorealism to La Nouvelle Vague to Third Cinema. This display is located opposite the 4th floor page desk, adjacent to the staircase.